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This is an introduction to tasks to the 3rd semester students of English at the Wszechnica Polska, Warsaw.
Third semester students are given instruction in Part 1 of a descriptive course of English Grammar.
The content of Part 1 of this course covers a description of utterances in spoken English, kinds of utterances in discourse, touches upon the basic features of written English, such as reference and cohesion, and then focuses on the word, the phrase (the noun phrase, the verb phrase, the adjective phrase, and the prepositional phrase) and the utterance/sentence. A descriptive course means that features of English in different media are overviewed and described, and that the basic units in spoken English (the phrase and the utterance) are defined. Questions of usage are given much less attention. But the students are invited to do a number of exercises to familiarise themselves with how units and features of English described in the course are used. This is to help them internalise the descriptive material easier.
Part 1 of this course of English Grammar is given in ten to eleven lectures on the following topics:
Lecture 1: Introduction
Lecture 2: Units of Meaning in Grammar
Lecture 3: Kinds of Utterances in Discourse
Lecture 4: Discourse and Social Contexts. Recurrent Units in Discourse.
Lecture 5: Grammar and Discourse (Features)
Lecture 6: Word Classes and Phrase Classes
Lecture 7: The Noun Phrase
Lecture 8: Nouns and Determiners
Lecture 9: Pronouns and Prepositions
Lecture 10: The Verb Phrase: Structure and Function
Lecture 11: The Verb Phrase: Tense and Aspect
While attending the lectures and following the instruction on Wikispaces, the students are asked to do the following tasks:
First, irrespective of the topic of his or her choice, every student is asked to give brief answers to five introductory questions in section A.
Second, every student is asked to write an answer to the question chosen in section B in no more then 100 words.
Third, every student is asked to put a question to the teacher related to English grammar and explain why he/she is asking the question.
A. Review questions to Part 1 of the course:
1. What is the phrase? What phrase classes in English do you know? (Please add examples of phrase classes)
2. What is the structure of the English noun phrase? (Please add examples)
3. What is the structure of the English verb phrase? (Please add examples)
4. What is an utterance? What is a sentence?
5. Please define and illustrate one of the following discourse units - vocatives, response tokens, tag questions and other typical questions in spoken English.
B. Descriptive questions:
1. What is the structure of standard questions in spoken English? How the standard questions differ from questions recurrent in speech? Please illustrate echo questions, follow-up questions, two-step questions, pre-questions and preface questions.
2. Please review short responses to general (Yes/No) questions. Please comment on idiomatic response tokens.
3. What are determiners in the noun phrase? (Please add examples)
4. What are modifiers in the noun phrase? What kinds of modifiers do you know? (Please add examples)
5. What verb classes do you know? What words appear in pre-position to the main verb in the English verb phrase? (Please add examples). What words appear in post-position to the main verb in the English verb phrase? (Please add examples).
6. What is a complement? Please illustrate complementation in the noun phrase.
7. Please illustrate complementation in the verb phrase. What is the difference betwen a complement and a modifier in the verb phrase? (Please add examples).
8. What are headers and tails in utterances in spoken English? (Please add examples)
9. What other discourse units take a similar position to that of headers and tails in an utterance? (Please add examples)
10. What is cohesion in written English? Please explain this concept minding that the transition from one sentence to another is important in written English, while in spoken English, it is the production of adequate communicative units and the taking of turns that are important.
Note: A clear concept of the the noun and the verb phrase, of complements and modifiers is essential in understanding questions of reference and time expression in grammar, as well as that of verb complementation in Part 2 of this Course. Familiarity with kinds of utterances in spoken English and with discourse units is helpful in understanding questions of modality, functional and structural aspects of meaning in Part 3 of this Course.

Textbooks and Books of Reference

Alexander, L.G. - The Longman English Grammar. - London and New York: Longman, 1992.
Crystal, David - Rediscover Grammar with David Crystal. - Harlow: Longman Group UK Limited, 1993.
Murphy, Raymond - English Grammar in Use. - Cambridge etc.: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Carter, Ronald, Michael McCarthy. - The Cambridge Grammar of English. - Cambridge etc.: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Note: English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy and The Cambridge Grammar of English by Ronald Carter and Michael McCarthy are available at the Wszechnica Polska, in Room 809, to students of English of this School.